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Home Jazz July On this day in jazz (July 07)

On this day in jazz (July 07)

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On this day in 1956, Duke Ellington played at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. The performance can be found on the album Ellington at Newport. The concert was very important as it is credited as revitalizing the big band leaders' diminishing career. George Wein described the concert as "the greatest performance of [Ellington's] career... It stood for everything that jazz had been and could be." The concert is also featured in the Ken Burns' Jazz documentary (link).

Specifically, the song featured in Burn's documentary was "Diminuendo In Blue and Crescendo In Blue".  The reason is because this is probably the song that saved Duke's career. The song features a very long solo by Gonsalves — with Ellington yelling "Come on, Paul — dig in! Dig in!". The crowd, which had been filing out of the festival, quickly turned around and came back in. Some ended up dancing in the aisles--possibly due to the platinum blonde woman in a black evening dress (Elaine Anderson) getting up and dancing enthusiastically. When the solo ended, Gonsalves collapsed in exhaustion, but Ellington took over for two choruses before the full band returned for the "Crescendo in Blue" portion of the song.

Here's Duke with "Diminuendo In Blue and Crescendo In Blue":


Track listing:

  1. "The Star Spangled Banner" - 1:10
  2. Father Norman O'Connor Introduces Duke & the Orchestra / Duke Introduces Tune & Anderson, Jackson & Procope - 3:36
  3. "Black and Tan Fantasy" - 6:21
  4. Duke Introduces Cook & Tune - 0:26
  5. "Tea for Two" - 3:34
  6. Duke & Band Leave Stage / Father Norman Talks About The Festival - 2:30
  7. "Take the 'A' Train" - 4:27
  8. Duke Announces Strayhorn's A Train & Nance / Duke Introduces Festival Suite, Part I & Hamilton - 0:41
  9. "Part I - Festival Junction" - 8:10
  10. Duke Announces Soloists; Introduces Part II - 0:38
  11. "Part II - Blues to Be There" - 7:09
  12. Duke Announces Nance & Procope; Introduces Part III - 0:19
  13. "Part III - Newport Up" - 5:33
  14. Duke Announces Hamilton, Gonsalves & Terry / Duke Introduces Carney & Tune - 0:25
  15. "Sophisticated Lady" - 3:52
  16. Duke Announces Grissom & Tune - 0:17
  17. "Day In, Day Out" - 3:50
  18. Duke Introduces Tune(s) and Paul Gonsalves Interludes - 0:23
  19. "Diminuendo In Blue and Crescendo In Blue" - 14:20
  20. Announcements, Pandemonium - 0:44
  21. Pause Track - 0:06
  22. Duke Introduces Johnny Hodges - 0:18
  23. "I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" - 3:38
  24. "Jeep's Blues" - 4:36
  25. Duke Calms Crowd; Introduces Nance & Tune - 0:42
  26. "Tulip or Turnip" - 2:49
  27. Riot Prevention - 1:08
  28. "Skin Deep" - 9:13
  29. "Mood Indigo" - 1:30
Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2018 17:44  


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